We had a Windstar, and traded up to this one with the help of the large rebates. What a deal!!! We purchased a fairly loaded SEL. Although we would not have ordered it that way, it has turned out great. The key features for us are the ABS, Traction Control, Signal Mirrors (they flash when the sliding door is open to warn on-coming cars that a child may be exiting), Reverse Sensing System, Safety Curtains, and the Driver Door Keypad (more below).
This vehicle drives much nicer than the Windstar. Visibility is much better on all accounts (seems like the driver's seating position is higher?). It feels much tighter than the Windstar, and drives much more car-like. The interior noise is greatly reduced. We can now carry on a conversation with the kids in the third row without turning around (or raising our voices when facing forward). This became very tiresome on long trips.
Some of the smaller things are the outside temperature display. Up here, the temperature can drop quickly as the sun goes down, and it is nice to know if the roads are going to ice. The puddle lamps and the side lights when turning are also nice. The radio with CD AND cassette is great for us. We have 4 small children (8,6,4,2) and still have many songs on cassette. The DVD player will be nice for the long trips to the midwest, but we will probably not use it very often.
My wife loves the area behind the third row. The groceries no longer end up all over the place. I have already used the 3rd row fold-in-floor. Much, much, much better than removing it as we did with the Windstar.
The Reverse Sensing System is terrific. It works perfectly and really does help when backing the van into the garage (a lot easier to load/unload the monkeys since the smallest is on the passenger side). Although we have not had much of a problem to date, I imagine this would also help with bikes left in the driveway.
The Driver Door Keypad is great for us. We had it on the Windstar, and have found many, many uses for it. When we go hiking, to the beach, whatever, we can leave the keys in the van. Also, with small children, the van is always locked in the driveway. This feature allows me to get into the van (mostly to open the garage door) without going for the keys. Additionally, after we sit down in a restaurant, I can run to the car for whatever we forgot without having to dig the keys out of the bottom of the diaper bag. We can't understand the OnStar commercials in which people have locked their keys in the car.
Overall this vehicle has been a terrific experience for us. The dealer was even great.
Amount Paid (US$):
2004Model and Options:
SEL, Traction Control, Safety Curtains, Signal Mirrors